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Signs that your Glasses are Too Old

If you wear contacts, you’re well aware that a prescription is only good for a year, and to ensure you find your way back to the eye doctor’s chair you’ve only got a 12-month supply of lenses on hand. But if the only corrective lenses you wear are the kind that sit on your nose, you may be tempted to keep the same pair as long as possible. The temptation to stick with a favorite pair forever is strong, but even the most trusty pair of glasses eventually require the switch to a newer model.

Here are a few ways you can tell if the time has come for new glasses:

- The world’s gone soft. This one’s easy — and hopefully pretty obvious — but if you find yourself squinting to make out the traffic signs or need to hold restaurant menus at arm’s length, it’s time to make a change.

- It’s no secret that glasses take a beating — especially if you only need them for certain activities so they’re not always on. Sit on a pair left in the driver’s seat, smash them in a purse or just drop them, they’ll probably survive thanks to modern lens and frame materials that are extremely durable. But enough twisting and bending — and then twisting and bending back — can leave glasses fitting poorly and more prone to problems like lenses popping out.

- Thanks to modern lenses and scratch-resistant coatings, it’s truly astonishing what abuse a pair of specs can take. But in the way that a stray shopping cart always manages to find the most expensive car in the parking lot, even the best-kept glasses can’t avoid scratches forever. And whether it’s one hefty scratch right through your field of vision or the slow accumulation of tiny scratches that build over the course of daily use, scratched up lenses aren’t as clear, can increase glare and demand quicker replacement.

- Is your nose hurting? Even if your lens correction is massive, there’s no reason to live with glasses that weigh enough to leave your nose doing weight training. Today’s lenses can pack even high corrections into compact and lightweight polycarbonate packages that weigh a fraction of those Coke bottle lenses of old.

Even if your specs are in immaculate condition, your eyes might need a tune up. Regular eye exams can not only catch optical issues before they become serious, but can also detect signs of other health maladies. So be sure to schedule this year’s comprehensive eye exam and maybe pick up something a little more stylish while you’re there.